Four Minutes, Four Questions

Trillium Salon Series

4×4</p><p>Four Minutes, Four Questions</p><p>Trillium Salon Series

The Trillium Salon Series set out to break down barriers around classical music by changing perceptions of the genre and presenting concerts in casual settings. Roughly a year and a half later, the series is still going strong. Co-organizers of the series, Glenn France and Katy Henriksen, answered a few questions for What’s Up!, reflecting on the series’ evolution and beginning the new year with community and music.

Q. How have you seen Trillium evolve since its inception?

France: Trillium Salon Series began with the simple notion of bringing chamber music back to people’s homes and other casual settings and to de-mystify classical music. We’ve kept that as a defining mission, but we’ve branched out to encompass other kinds of art [including] … poetry readings … and a silent film screening. We envision more of this kind of thing going forward, but of course we don’t want to lose sight of bringing great chamber music to homes.

Henriksen: We truly started with an idea that was open to evolution from the get-go, and what we’ve seen is a hunger for experiencing live classical music this way. We’re also expanding into other art forms. For the New Year’s Day potluck, we’ve partnered with Open Mouth Poetry Readings to add poetry to this salon as well. We’re hoping to collaborate with arts of all kinds in 2018.

Q. What is one of your favorite moments or memories from a Trillium event so far?

France: The event that for me felt the most unique was the late night, after hours show we did this past summer at Foxhole in Bentonville. It was during the Artosphere festival, and we had a few string musicians come by the bar after their concert at Crystal Bridges. It was a loud, crowded bar, the lighting was very low, but the music and the performances were perfectly tuned to the atmosphere. The musicians seemed to love it as well!

Henriksen: Each salon captivates me with its distinct energy. We had our first listening party last fall, and it was rather unexpected. Glenn and I were all set to go in a very busy coffee shop, but only two other folks were there. I was worried no one else would show. Instead we ended up commandeering one of the long park bench-like tables to a passionate group connecting over individual pieces. Hardly anyone knew anyone else, and they were all getting to know each other by talking about amazing music. That was really moving and a prime example of why I’m doing this.

Q. What is the significance for you personally of beginning the new year in this intimate environment with music and community?

France: As time goes on, I like to take stock of things on New Year’s Day, and to look forward to the new year with hope and the desire to be more mindful of my time and how I spend it. So I usually like to begin the new year with something that helps inspire me and kickstart my aesthetic desires. And being with good, like minded people provides great inspiration. Music, food and drink, and lively conversation. What better way to start the New Year?

Henriksen: I find something really refreshing about connecting with the community through art, music and food. I feel revived in a way that I wouldn’t if I’d spent the entire day on the couch binging on Netflix and eating junk food. I also like that this event is open to everyone, and everyone brings something distinct to the gathering. It’s truly an alive event that doesn’t happen without those who join in.

Q. What do you think may surprise newcomers, or even those returning, about the potluck or about Trillium in general?

France: I always hope people are surprised that classical music can be informal, intimate and fun. I want to get young people to see that classical music need not be stuffy and boring — that it can in fact be rather “cool.” In fact, I don’t even like to use the term “concert” when referring to Trillium events. The term “concert” conjures up all these images of sitting reverentially in silence while music is made on some sort of stage. It’s an image that feels too formal for us.

Henriksen: If you’ve never experienced Trillium, you’re in for a treat. Our mission is to reconfigure the relationship between audience and performer, and in that process there’s a connection that I find often goes missing amidst our 21st century way of consumption. This isn’t about consuming or being a passive audience; this is all about engagement.

— Jocelyn Murphy


Categories: Entertainment, Music